I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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Ats DVD stuff
Random thought on the whole Ats Season 5 DVD commentary (which I don't have yet) thing, before I dash out the door to take my kitty to the vet. (Just getting stitches removed.)

I think part of the reason people dislike the idea that Joss was 'pandering' to the slash fans, aside from 1) it devaluing their slashy squee, and 2) it insulting Joss, is 3) the use of the word 'pander' and similar phrases.

1) and 2) are possible and probable [not entirely objective] reasons for people to disagree with the position that there's something to be annoyed with in Joss' comments, and I'm sure a lot of people are motivated by that, but 3)....

The implication that Joss is "pandering" to the slash fans by saying things like 'does anybody honestly think they never fucked' (I paraphrase, of course) does insult Joss, and some people care to defend his thoughts and contributions to the show and gayitude at large, and some don't, but it also carries an implication of insulting the intelligence of those people who are squeeing. Being pandered to implies that the squee-ers are falling for something, that they're not critical enough fans, that they've been hoodwinked, that they care more about The Gay than they do the quality of the show, or more about the Ho-Yay fix than they do about what the show does for gays in the real world, etc. etc. etc.

I'm not saying that's the intention of those using 'pander' and similar phrases; I think in reading people's opinions on the subject that it's not, that they're annoyed with Joss and somewhat with the writers -- but from the other end of the stick, that's the attached implication, whether intended or not. That is, if I agree with FanX and FanY that Joss threw jokey ho-yay into the series, and explicit commentary only into the DVDs after the series was over, because he was trying to suck up to the fans once it couldn't possibly hurt him, then I tacitly agree with the idea that I as a squee-er was one of those fans who was allowing myself to be sucked-up to. I'm not fond of that idea, and I'd hazard a guess that a lot of other people aren't as well, even if they've not put it together that it's part of what's annoying them.

(This is aside from my opinion that on a completely civil discussion level, I think the argument for Joss sucking up to fandom in this case just doesn't make sense, and the external reasons for not having explicit male hoyay with main characters do make sense. But that argument's been made already and I don't have much to add to it. I'm just saying, this is my analysis of (one reason) why I think people are being so passionate about the subject -- because it feels like a challenge of their own credulity/intelligence/etc.)


2005-02-19 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)

That makes a lot of sense to me, honestly - I know the term 'pandering' is one that did set off red flags of annoyance for me, although at least consciously I was chalking it up to other reasons I didn't think it applied. But as a dismissive term of fandom itself, I can see how that could be subconsciously affecting me or others.

I do know that word choice can cause a huge kneejerk reaction from me even when I'm aware of my problem with the word, so...

Thanks for this, cause it's giving me something more to think about. And now my brain might possibly overload because it wasn't designed to do this much on a Saturday.


2005-02-19 12:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

FWIW, your post was the first in my mind for the objective part of why the argument just doesn't make sense to me -- so though the phrasing might have set you off in the first place, I don't think it's affected your logic.


2005-02-19 11:06 am (UTC) (Link)

Wait-did I miss something? *is puzzled*


2005-02-19 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Joss made a rather interesting (for slashers, or at least Spike/Angel shippers) comment on the DVD commentary of The Girl In Qustion, which doylesb4 has the details on here. swmbo has a post on some of the semi-unexpected reactions to it, here. Mind you, it's for the most part slashers who are reacting negatively to it, at least on this issue -- so it's not a matter of people who want to deny the Ho-Yay saying that Joss is full of shit. It's people saying that he's kind of dickless for putting all the male ho-yay into wink-wink nudge-nudge jokey stuff that could get past the censors, then only admitting after the show is over that it was there on purpose. (That's just my interpretation of a number of people's responses to it, congealed into one.)


2005-02-19 12:40 pm (UTC) (Link) I get it. *nods* Well, whether he admited it or not, we still slash, so I don't see the big. Everyone *knows* Spike and Xander were getting it on, so who needs confirmation? *g*


2005-02-19 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

In general I agree, but it is nice to have something to point to when the argument comes down to people going "You are crazy; there's nothing there in the shows. You're twisting the characters, blahblahblah." When you can say "Dude, the show's creator coined the phrase 'Bring Your Own Subtext' and later said that people who figure Angelus and Spike had to have got it on at some point are not crazy" there's a certain satisfaction. Some backup that the very idea of subtext is not bullshit.


2005-02-19 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Totally agreeable.


2005-02-19 12:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

"all the male ho-yay into wink-wink nudge-nudge jokey stuff that could get past the censors"

Anyone who's lived through 40 years of British sit. coms with their camp sterotypes and tacky innuendos wouldn't be complaining so much... Do I sound bitter?


2005-02-19 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not remotely. ;-)


2005-02-19 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

And, of course, this has now gotten into Fandom Wank, although it is, on the whole, so polite, scholarly, and inappropriately serious as to qualify as a wank only by the remarkably large number of posts dedicated to the discussion.

Julia, who's been bemused by the whole event


2005-02-20 11:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, I think it's pretty far out there on the edge of what constitutes wank, considering how polite people have been. There's the digging out of degrees, but dude, when part of the question is about specific academic theories, you're going to be qualifying your explanations with "My background is in such and such." It just makes sense.

([wank]Mine's in creative writing, one class short of a lit minor, FWIW. And though I fall more on the 'authorial intent is just one facet and sometimes not as important as what actually came across to a majority of thoughtful readers/viewers' side, I was honestly shocked and annoyed when the concept was first presented to us in college. Not so much over the author vs. reader part, but because the prof extrapolated so much that I really did have the same reaction as Kita had, of "But if you take it that far, nothing means anything, so why the fuck are we studying this?"[/wank])

(Deleted comment)


2005-02-20 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)

*nod* And FWIW, I didn't think you were intending it to be critical of the squee-ing viewers. Just that the connotation of "pandered to = gullible" is a pretty hard one to detach from.


2005-02-19 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Aside from the things you've discussed, Joss is just NOT the kind of guy who would ever "pander". He's not Pander-y, he's Spander-y (no, wait, that's Jane Espenson). Hahaha. Seriously, though, he (clearly unlike some fans) does not belittle his fans, and he respects the intelligence of his fans. He does NOT respect the intelligence of the networks, and the networks don't respect the intelligence or maturity of TV viewing audiences in general, so it's so wonder there isn't any explicit m/m stuff on network TV.

P.S. -- I LOVE your icon! Some cats are SO that way.


2005-02-20 11:48 am (UTC) (Link)

All of my cats are that way. Except for the boyses. They're kind of "Brain? What brain? Where's my dinner?" except for Orange Mew Kitty. He can in fact kill you with his brain.


2005-02-19 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Also, it doesn't help that the people yelling 'pander!' are also the ones to pull credential and eductational rank on anyone who dares disagree with them, thus further inflaming the whole "if you buy this you're clearly a moron only interested in pretty" fireball.

Also, if you disagree, you're a poopyhead.


2005-02-20 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Show 'em to me and I'll pull rank on *them*!

...oh wait... That whole debate on authorial intent... I participated on the wrong side, huh?

I guess I just don't allow my academic leanings to stop my squeeing. Joss is right when I say he's right! :-)


2005-02-20 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Joss is right when I say he's right! :-)

See, now that's an attitude I respect. ;}


2005-02-20 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm all "Whatever -- dude, the show's over. Pander to me all you want, because I can't honestly see what you (Joss) would get out of the deal, considering I just bought last DVD set of the last season of the last Buffyverse show. So it's a present, free of charge, right? I will take that present, thank you kind sir, and I will smile at the shiny and shake happily it in the faces of anybody who at this late date still says that subtext as a concept is bullshit and we're all imagining any gayitude we see in the series."